by Staff Writers
Riyadh (AFP) Sept 20, 2017
Saudi Arabia will lift its ban on internet calling applications on Wednesday, authorities said, easing restrictions online as the conservative kingdom faces new criticism over censorship.
Voice and video calling apps such as WhatsApp and Skype will be "widely available to users", a government statement said Tuesday, in a move aimed at improving business confidence as the kingdom transitions into a post-oil era.
"Access to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) will reduce operational costs and spur digital entrepreneurship," the statement said, citing a directive from the communications and technology ministry.
"Digital transformation is one of the key kick-starters for the Saudi economy, as it will incentivise the growth of internet-based businesses, especially in the media and entertainment industries."
The announcement comes a day after Al Jazeera lashed out at Snapchat for blocking the Qatari broadcaster from its app in Saudi Arabia at the request of Saudi authorities.
Saudi Arabia has long accused Al Jazeera of acting as a mouthpiece for extremist groups, a charge it denies.
Alongside the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain, Saudi Arabia imposed a blockade on Qatar in June, in the worst diplomatic crisis to roil the Gulf in years.
Al Jazeera condemned the blocking as an assault on freedom of expression but the Saudi government vigorously defended its position.
"The recent cooperation with Snapchat to remove Al Jazeera, a harmful, propaganda-pushing channel that supports extremism, should not be considered in isolation or interpreted as a crackdown on free media," the Saudi statement said.
Saudi Arabia, with its bulging youth population, is among the world's top per capita users of social media.
The internet represents a limited space for freedom of expression in a country with strict social codes.
More than half of Saudi Arabia's citizens are under 25, who spend much of their time on social media platforms, away from official strictures and traditions.
San Francisco (AFP) Sept 16, 2017
Equifax said Friday that two executives entrusted with watching over its computers are retiring, their departures coming after its maligned handling of a major hack at the credit reporting agency. The Equifax chief information officer and head of security will retire, effective immediately, as "part of the company's ongoing review of the cybersecurity incident" that resulted in personal data ... read more
Cyberwar - Internet Security News - Systems and Policy Issues
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|